In the case of Marc Dibernardo, a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army, competing in these events, in what most would consider extreme conditions, is a way to raise awareness and support to causes that are very dear to him - wounded warriors.
What is so extreme about the way he
competes in races you may ask?
Consider the fact that he
races wearing either a gas mask or full military gear (including helmet, body armor, and boots).
It is safe to say that either of these scenarios would cause significant impairments for the average racer.
has broken world records wearing both.
The latest, which has yet to be officially confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records, was completed Saturday at the Go Commando Half-Marathon in Clarksville, Tenn. Dibernardo, wearing full military gear, completed the race in one hour and 51 minutes.
Nine minutes faster than the record established by Guinness.
it started in 2003 at Ft. Benning, Ga., while assigned to the 36th Engineer Battalion.
The unit conducted NBC
(Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) Olympics in which unit personnel would compete in events utilizing their NBC gear.
The goal - individuals gain familiarity with their equipment.
became more than just familiar with his
became comfortable with it.
first world record came in May 2011 when he
completed the North Shore Marathon in 3 hours and 49 minutes in a gas mask.
second world record was at last year's Go Commando Half Marathon, completing the course in 1 hour and 35 minutes while again wearing a gas mask.
If you ask Dibernardo
about the records he
will simply shrug his
shoulders and provide a short explanation because what he
would rather discuss are the reasons why he
competes in the first place.
"My hope is that these records will grab the public's attention and garner additional volunteer support towards these programs," said Dibernardo
"These records are great, but they are only a means to the end, which is to help our veterans."
When asked what new challenge he
intends to seek out in the future, he
quickly responds with wanting to complete a triathlon wearing a gas mask and then down the road maybe climbing Mount Everest.
The reason is quite simple.
"Folks always come up to me and ask me why I race the way I do.
That simple question opens the door for me to talk about my causes," stated Dibernardo
"If I can make just a couple of folks at each race aware of how they can help or assist, then the sweat and effort is completely worth it."
It is safe to say that we will continue to see and hear Marc Dibernardo
finding new and unique ways to not only challenge himself, but more importantly raise awareness.